The XPat Journal likes to point you in the right direction when it comes to fine dining and interesting restaurants – but where should you go for catering, or great food prepared in your own kitchen? In this edition we introduce you to a spectacular, Asian concept and a chef who takes over your home kitchen and serves restaurant quality food.
Michiel de Vlieger of Cometa Culinair is your ‘flying Chef’; he takes charge of your kitchen and serves lovely food. His inspiration stems from his youth, at home, where he would help out in the kitchen during the dinner parties his parents would host. His favorite French Chef is Michel Guérard, whose 3-star restaurant in Eugénie-les-Bains is famous for its light and elegant cuisine. However, he also find inspiration in the fine kitchens of Italy and Spain, as well as Northern Africa.
The best thing about Cometa Culinair is the practical way they work. The entire team blends into your private (or business) ambiance. They work swiftly, and are quiet and clean. This means that when they leave your house, the place does not look like a bomb exploded in it. From a pricing point of view, Cometa Culinair can organize your lunch or dinner party within virtually every budget, from very reasonable to very exclusive.
Organic Ingredients and Wines
Chef Michiel de Vlieger is a fanatic when it comes to the source of his meat, fish, vegetables and so on. You will see a very high percentage of organic ingredients and needless to say, everything he uses is as fresh as could be.
His wines are from the organic collection of Bosman on the Frederik Hendriklaan, but he also has a unique collaboration with Beer Expert Ellen van Woerkom. Great food, great wines and very special beers.
Kruid & Druif
Many of our readers enjoy the fine Asian restaurants in our part of Holland, but how do you go about arranging a home-cooked dinner from one of the oriental kitchens? The answer to that is; visit Kruid & Druif in the Reinkenstraat in The Hague. This shop has invented a truly unique concept, one that we have not seen before in Holland, or abroad, and that is the creative child of two food & wine loving entrepreneurs.
In the modern, minimalistic shop, you purchase tailor-made dishes to cook yourself, prepared with the freshest ingredients, all pre-portioned to make cooking easy. There are five different styles of dishes, ranging from not spicy at all to dishes that have a ‘five pepper’ rating. The best thing is not only that you get spot-on advice, but that you can buy the exact amount of the particular ingredient you need. In many home kitchens one will see stacks of pots and packets of Asian ingredients that have been used only once. And when you want to use them again, you find they have passed their ‘best before’ date so that you have to go out and buy a new one. Not so with the well-organized dishes from Kruid & Druif, which translates into Spice & Grape.
The People Behind Kruid & Druif
She featured in the Dutch edition of the popular TV show Top Chef. Her passion for Asian food starts with her background. “My mother is of Chinese descent, born in Java (Indonesia). Holidays to Indonesia, China, Laos, Thailand, India and a traineeship in the French cuisine proved to be gastronomic adventures. (Asian) cooking has been my hobby since I was a child and the kitchen has always been my favorite place in the house. My passion for wine started when I was at the hotel school. Many dinner parties, cooking sessions and holidays allowed me to taste and learn to judge wines. I obtained my wine certificate in 2012 and I intend to start the Wine Professionals training this year together with Erik. I think it’s great to be able to spend all my days focusing on food and wine”.
His passions are sailing and entrepreneurship. “In March 2010 I started my first company. I like to start and build businesses from the ground up. In recent years I have developed a passion for wine and cooking. I find wine a genuine, interesting product, especially with the added human touch of the winemaker, and in combination with Asian dishes. It is surprising to see how different wines combine with our dishes. In 2014, I want to obtain my wine certificate, so that I can start the Wine Professionals course in 2014 together with Marloes.”
The shop in the Reinkenstraat has been open since December 2012. Marloes and Erik are looking forward to serving Asian cooking and wine to all the people who love good food and wine on this location, and now also to those who love to cook at home.
Marloes; “Our dishes are for many occasions. We hope to inspire you for your weekday meals, dinners with friends, a romantic dinner, or a unique gift. We have already done the shopping for you. You get all customized ingredients in a fresh box so you can cook a delicious, fresh meal at home. And if you like, with an accompanying bottle of wine.”
The dishes are classified according to five flavors, which are indicated by color codes. The five flavors are: Crunchy & Fresh (green), Mildly Spicy & Slightly Roasted (yellow), Spicy & Roasted (orange), Fiery & Sweet (red), and Savory & Rich (brown).
The wines are also classified into these colors, helping you to easily find the perfect match.
Crisp and light aromatic white and rosé wines (green); aromatic white, full bodied rosé and light fruity red wines (yellow); oak-aged whites and fruity red wines with soft tannins (orange); light and medium sweet red and white wines with a lower alcohol percentage (red); and full-bodied red wines, chewy with high tannins (brown).
Fish & Meat
A dish serves three people. The price of the dish boxes does not include meat, fish or shrimps. You can buy these separately, freshly packaged in vacuum bags. Meat comes from free-range butcher ‘t Oude Ambacht and fish and shrimp are sourced directly from the port of Scheveningen.
This little shop is without a doubt quite unique, from the ultimate ‘one-stop shopping’ point of view. Everything you need to create a spectacular dish is here under one roof, including the wine(s). You can take your pick from more than 50 dishes from South-East Asia to make dinner at home. Are you in a rush? No problem; you can order by phone, or online. Kruid & Druif provides you with a clearly written recipe (available in English), including all measured ingredients for your dish. This complete box consists of two parts: a Spice Box, containing the ‘supporting’ ingredients (dried spices, sauces, nuts); and a Fresh Component, featuring all fresh vegetables, spices, as well as pandan rice, noodles or naan. So that you don’t have to gather your ingredients from various stores anymore. As everything is customized for your dish, you won’t end up throwing away anything either; you have exactly enough. A visit to this cute shop will leave you surprised and inspired.
Your own restaurant at home;
Van der Woertstraat 27, The Hague
Kruid & Druif
Reinkenstraat 18, The Hague